Last Friday I left for Munich; part work, part fun. My company hosted a workshop & Munich kicked off the first weekend of Oktoberfest.
I planned to hit the hay nice and early Thursday evening, as my taxi was set to arrive at 4am. Needless to say, a late conference call and a few other distractions left me wide awake till nearly 1am.
Just as I was about to close my eyes…
The most thunderous, lightning storm appeared (in true London fashion) out of nowhere. No warning, whatsoever. The rain came down every which way and sounded like gumballs bouncing off the roof. I thought for certain the house was going to cave in.
I laid in bed…FLASH! I started with the counting trick, one, Miss…
CRASH! Oh, shit.
The lightning was literally right above my flat. The weather carried on for the next two hours, and I just prayed that it would stop before my cab arrived.
After a few hits of the snooze button, I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, applied chap stick and was out the door. I tell you, some of these women at the airport dress like they’re attending London Fashion Week. I on the other hand, look like I came straight out of an Old Navy commercial for lounge wear.
I arrived at the hotel around 10am and was told to come back at 3pm. “No early check-in”, said the hotel manager. Great.
I had lots of work to do, so I wandered around looking for a nice cafe to sit and answer some emails. I couldn’t tell if these places had WiFi, or looked willing to accept a girl who was planning to plunk for a few hours…
When I find myself in this situation, in a foreign country, and I need an electrical outlet, coffee, WiFi, a snack or bathroom, the one place I can always count on, much to my Father’s disdain.
“S-T-A-R-B-U-C-K-S locations Munich”, a quick Google search is all you need!
I parked my bottom and laptop in the Starbucks cafe for the next few hours, sipping my lime cooler and plugging away at emails.
Later, I went back to the hotel to check-in and they gave me one of those old fashion keys with a 10-lb weight attached…never a good sign. No key cards?
I realized upon check-in that the key was the least of my problems. I did it again, ordered up a single bedroom. The Haribo gummy bears were a nice touch though!
This is their idea of air con?
I worked for a bit longer until my hunger pangs told me to stop, and asked the front desk to recommend a restaurant.
“Traditional Bavarian sounds lovely!”
The hotelier on duty was excited to hear I was interested in the local cuisine and gave me directions to Liebighof im Lehel.
I ordered the mixed green salad with a yogurt-like dressing & fresh herbs. The dressing looks rather unappetizing in the picture but I assure you, it was delicious. And a little gluten free schnitzel with chips & mushroom sauce. Schnitzel typically comes fried, but they had a ‘naked schnitzel’ option on the menu.
I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the older couple beside me in their late 70’s, early 80’s. The wife carried on about the new prescription medications they were taking, a quilt she had purchased from the market…and the husband, deaf as a doornail, went on sipping his beer and responding occasionally with a, “Hehhh?”.
I’m not sure he caught a single word she said. Then came the full confession.
“I nicked the apple corer in the flat. It’s useful, don’t you think?…I could just ask Nancy to get me one in America, but I figure it’s just easier to take it…well, I feel better now that I got that off my chest. Let’s eat!”
Later on in evening, I couldn’t help but jump in…we discussed dinner, work and their worldly travels. This couple had been everywhere under the sun, and made an annual trip to Munich for the last 15 years. We laughed, and they nearly made me cry a few times talking about family. The wife was born in America and married a full Brit so we shared some laughs about the States versus British life.
They kept me out much too late but it was worth every minute.